Phillies Promise to Intentionally Make Outs in 2015

Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez (16) lays down a bunt in the first inning of the spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Bright House Field.

Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez (16) lays down a bunt in the first inning of the spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Bright House Field.

Just when you thought the Philadelphia sports landscape couldn’t get any weirder, it does. Yesterday, Ryne Sandberg said the team plans to intentionally make outs in the 2015 season.

No, the Phillies aren’t working on an extreme version of the Sixers’ tanking strategy. Sandberg said the Phillies plan to play small ball this year. “That’s something that I’m stressing this spring,” Sandberg told reporters in Clearwater, Florida. “We’re working on it. We’re practicing it. If it’s not a bunt, it could be a hit and run. Get a baserunner, make something happen — really to set the tone for the season.”

MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes the Phillies have six sacrifice bunts this spring — four more than any other team. Yesterday, they sac bunted twice, once with runners on first and second and no outs. They scored one run after those two sac bunt attempts. Read more »

What the Hell Happened to Penn Basketball?

Jerome Allen
“Finally,” my friend Chris said, “We have a basketball team again!”

It was the first game of the 2010-11 basketball season. Penn was about to complete a 69-64 win over Davidson. The Wildcats are generally a mid-major powerhouse, and the win meant good things for the future. Freshman Miles Cartwright scored 18 points in his first game to lead the Quakers. We chanted Cartwright’s name as he scored bucket after bucket in the first half — leading to an awkward moment when his father turned around to thank (or laugh at) us. Read more »

Cliff Lee Might Need Surgery — Which Could Mean the End of His Career

Among the great one-game feats by Philadelphia athletes, a few recent ones stand out. Allen Iverson‘s 48 points in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals. Keith Primeau going around the net and tying Game 6 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals with two minutes left. Terrell Owens122 yards in the Super Bowl on one leg. Ryan Howard‘s 3-homer game against the Braves in his MVP year. Roy Halladay‘s perfect game, followed by his playoff-opening no-hitter.

But one might stand above them all. It was 2009, and Cliff Lee dominated the Yankees in Game 1 of the World Series.

The game was a joke. Lee struck out four of the first seven batters. In the fourth inning, he struck out the side: Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada. He struck out 10 for the game. He didn’t give up a run until the ninth inning, when the Phillies had already scored six runs. He only allowed six hits. The run he gave up was unearned. It was incredible. The Phillies, already the reigning World Series champions, had embarrassed the mighty Yankees in that first game. Cliff Lee was on the sandlot, joking around, catching a pop-up without moving off the mound to show how much he was in control. Read more »

How to Root for the Tanking Sixers — and Their 2015 Draft Picks

Sixers

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer; Photo credits, from left: Nerlens Noel (Bill Streicher, USA Today Sports), Franklin (David Dow, NBA Photos ), Brett Brown (Jason Getz, USA Today Sports) and Joel Embiid (Bill Streicher, USA Today Sports).

With just one second on the clock, Utah’s Gordon Hayward got a good look. He caught the inbounds pass from the other baseline, took a dribble and fired a deep three …

It clanked off the back of the rim, though the referee was waving it off anyway.

And just like that, Sixers fans could exhale. The Lakers had won.

Wait. What?

Yes, as strange as it sounds, Sixers fans were cheering for the Lakers in last Wednesday night’s matchup with the Utah Jazz. And odd as it will feel, they’ll be cheering for them for the rest of the season. Regardless of how one feels about Sam Hinkie’s controversial plan for rebuilding the moribund 76ers, we can all agree on one thing: He’s to blame for the fact that Sixers fans will have to root for the purple and gold from here on out. Read more »

Keith Olbermann: Worst Person in the World?

In the context of not wishing to see human beings waste away because we are mostly good and decent souls, I think we all need to pray for Keith Olbermann, because I think the man has gone a bit goofy.

I guess that’s the kind of thing that can happen to someone who was once, but no longer is, on the top of the media world. Olbermann’s quick wit and intellect made him stand out from your basic sports anchor/teleprompter reader. And he parlayed that into a gig as a big liberal pundit. But this is a man with a self-destructive streak. He soon messed that up, wound up on the scrap heap, and was rescued by ESPN, the network where his star originally rose, which gave him his own show on a channel (ESPN2) and time slot (5 p.m.) with which few are familiar. Nobody cares much about what he has to say these days. And the lack of attention has shriveled him like salt does a slug.

How else can you explain a middle-aged man getting into Twitter beefs with students of Penn State University and their mothers, of all people, over a worthwhile cause named THON?

Read more »

Here’s Eric Lindros’ $250K Libel Suit Against Ex-Ref

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Philadelphia Flyers Eric Lindros advances the puck toward the Boston Bruins net during the first period of NHL play in Boston Tuesday, November 26, 1996.

In a column in the Huffington Post last July, former NHL referee Paul Stewart wrote of his run-ins with Eric Lindros. Now, Lindros is suing him for $250,000 — Canadian.

The defamation suit, filed in an Ontario court, alleges several stories in Stewart’s column about Lindros are false. The statement of claim says the stories, which did not paint Lindros in a positive light, would cause “reasonable and ordinary readers of the article [to] regard Lindros with contempt or ridicule.”

“He gives a lot of time to charity,” said Geoff Shaw, one of Lindros’ lawyers in the suit. “He donated $5 million to a hospital in Ontario, He raises money for Easter Seals. I know he does events in your neck of the woods as well. He says, ‘My reputation is important to me when I’m giving this time.'” Read more »

WATCH: New Sixer Isaiah Canaan Hits Amazing Shot

Isaiah Canaan was acquired from the Rockets last Thursday at the NBA trade deadline, and he’s already the team’s starting point guard. The 2013 second-round draft pick scored in double figures both games he’s played for the Sixers.

Late in the first half against the Miami Heat last night, Canaan fired up a prayer with the shot clock running down and banked it in. Originally ruled a three, it was a two-point bucket that put the Sixers down a point heading into halftime. Read more »

Report: Man Who Plays Sixers’ New Mascot Hated on the Sixers on Twitter

David Dow | NBA Photos

David Dow | NBA Photos

Earlier this month, as the Sixers’ season continued its spiral into the abyss of record-setting defeats, ahem, strategic tanking, the team revealed its new mascot, Franklin, seen here surrounded by a bunch of smiley school kids. But it turns out that the man believed to be inside the suit is no fan of the team he has been hired to promote — or at least he wasn’t a few years ago. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week

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Okay, we know this team doesn’t look like much on paper. (Chad Billingsley? Really?) You know what, though? Neither did the Sixers back in October, and look how much fun they’ve turned out to be! This Phillies team could surprise you. (Ben Revere!) Actually, if it does anything at all, it will surprise everybody. (Domonic Brown!) And how perfectly Philly would that be? A city that’s home to the patron saint of underdogs (Adrian!”) should never (Aaron Harang!), never (Darren Ruf!), never (Jesse Biddle!) say die until the umpire signals the last out. Ryan Howard, just picture every line drive you hit landing in Cataldi’s big fat mouth.

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